Myriad Genetics is a molecular diagnostic company that revolves their entire company mission on "making a difference in patient's lives through tests to assess a person's risk of developing disease."
But just this June the Supreme Court ruled Myriad's Stem Cell Patent for the BRAC1 and BRAC2 gene "invalid". The ruling was focused on Myriad's intellectual property (IP) rights to two genes the BRCA1 or BRCA2. The mutations of these genes make the risk for breast and ovarian cancer much higher, about (87% and 44%). Also with these mutations the risk for secondary cancer greatly increases. Myriad calls the testing for these gene mutations the BRACAnalysis.
Justice Clarence Thomas provides the rationale in his write up:
“Myriad did not create anything,” Thomas said. “To be sure, it found an important and useful gene, but separating that gene from its surrounding genetic material is not an act of invention.”
“Genes already exist so you cannot patent them. You didn’t invent them.”
The BRACAnalysis is extremely expensive (around $3,000) and analysts predict the price to go way down after the ruling making it much easier for more women to receive the test and hopefully more lives saved.
- What is your take on this topic?
- Do you think they have the right to patent Stem Cells?
- Do you think the accessibility of this testing will increase to women around the Nation?
Read more about the decision here